Florida’s unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent for the month of February, unchanged from January. Meanwhile, the private sector added 25,000 new jobs to the state’s economy last month.
The numbers were released Friday morning by the Gov. Rick Scott at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new development project in downtown Ocala that will also create more than 280 jobs for Central Florida.
“I am proud to announce that Florida businesses created more than 25,000 new jobs last month, which means thousands of more opportunities are available for Floridians,” said Gov. Scott in a news release. “Earlier this month, we concluded the 2018 legislative session by securing major initiatives that will help ensure this economic growth continues in Florida for years to come. This includes cutting taxes by nearly $550 million and ensuring Floridians have the opportunity to make it harder for politicians to raise taxes with a constitutional amendment on the November ballot.”
Florida businesses have created nearly 1.5 million jobs in the past seven years. The state’s annual job growth rate stands at 2.2 percent exceeding the national rate of 1.8 percent. It marks the 70th time in the past 71 month Florida’s annual job growth rate has been higher than the nation’s. The only month that Florida did not exceed the nation was a result of Hurricane Irma.
The state’s unemployment rate has dropped 6.9 percent during that same seven year period.
That’s is faster than the national decline of 5.2 percentage points. An estimated 136,000 Floridians entered the state’s labor force in the past year, marking a 1.4 percent growth rate.
“We are proud that businesses are continuing to create jobs in Florida, and that our state’s unemployment rate remains low at 3.9 percent,” said Cissy Proctor, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “The nearly 1.5 million jobs created under Governor Scott’s leadership demonstrate that the Sunshine State is the best place to live the American Dream.”
The Orlando market continues to lead the state in job creation, adding 42,000 private sector jobs last year. The Tampa area came in second with 25,000 jobs created. The Miami-Dade area was third with 18,800 new jobs created.